The numbers are staggering, 74% of consumers rely on social media to guide purchasing decisions. Before they’ll add a product to their baskets, they check peer reviews and comments. A further 60% of consumers interact on social media with the brands they buy from. This is why, for a truly efficient e-commerce strategy, social media should make up an integral part of your approach!
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Snapchat and even LinkedIn: e-commerce professionals are investing more and more in these and other social media platforms. Consumers are increasingly influenced by reviews and the buzz about products or shopping experiences in their networks...
So, dear e-tailers, here are some tips for your social media strategy:
1. Develop a Social Media Strategy
Now that you’ve understood the value of social media for your e-commerce store, you need to define your strategy: where (which sites), for what (your goals), how (what kind of content) and when (which days and times to post).
2. Ensure your presence on different networks
To increase visibility, establish a brand voice, and gradually grow a loyal following, you’ll need to put some love into your social media accounts. Think about your profile and cover pictures, colours and overall design and the consistency of your names across different platforms... Gradually, you’ll see your following grow and a community develop.
3. Promote your social networks in your e-store
A call-to–action is a fundamental ingredient of any successful e-commerce venture and social media is no exception to the rule.
Use a call-to-action icon to promote your social media accounts on your estore and so you can easily share content from your estore to one or more of your accounts.
Arrange these icons in strategic locations, to simplify the sharing of product pages and increase your brand visibility. A site visitor who doesn’t buy anything but still ‘likes’ your Facebook page is more likely to make a purchase later, the seed is sown!
4. Integrate your social media strategy with emails and newsletters
To really progress your social media strategy, tie it in with your newsletter and email campaigns.
Here are some ideas for a two-pronged approach:
• Creating a Call-to-Action: a pragmatic and effective tactic is to set up your emails with social media sharing links. Show that you’re present on social media, waiting to be followed!
• Add a little resume of your social media activity to your newsletters: Highlight your best social media moments, show that you’re engaged with your community and others will want to join in!
• Promote your newsletters and emails on social media: you’ll be sure to receive some extra addresses to add to your email lists.
5. Save some special offers for your social media followers and keep them coming back for more
It probably comes as no great surprise that creating a true community of followers, who’ll promote your e-store, improve your services and support your brand, won’t happen overnight!
Here are a few things to help you achieve this:
• Define a schedule: this allows you to stock up on great ideas (for those moments when inspiration fails us!) but don’t hesitate to be spontaneous, you can also capitalise on live events and create an authentic connection with followers
• Develop specific offers: 66% of people subscribe to brands on social media to receive discounts or product samples – take the hint!
• Know your audience: make sure you understand the expectations of your target audience and followers so you can customise your content and offers accordingly.
By Marc Schillaci, CEO of Actinic (Actinic is a brand of Oxatis Group).
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